LSB to review enforcement tools available to regulators
The Legal Services Board (LSB) has announced today (4 August) that it plans to review the enforcement and investigative tools available to legal services regulators, including the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Law Society of England and Wales president Lubna Shuja said: “The SRA’s power to discipline and fine solicitors who commit misconduct was increased very recently. More serious matters continue to be referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).
"There is no evidence that the SRA’s current fining powers are insufficient.
“The SRA does not exist on its own in the regulatory process. It sits alongside the SDT, which already has draconian powers to sanction any wrong-doing in the solicitors’ profession. These include not only fining powers but also the ability to remove a solicitor from the profession altogether.
“The SDT remains the appropriate forum for serious cases of alleged misconduct. It is independent from the regulator and has clearly defined processes. This transparency means that solicitors, clients, and the general public can have confidence in the SDT’s decision making processes.
“Further extending the SRA’s powers risks undermining the SDT’s role and authority and potentially reducing the sanctions imposed on bad conduct.
"We strongly oppose any proposals to further increase the current financial penalties available to the SRA.
"This request appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to the recent media investigation into a very small number of solicitors, who have been quickly dealt with by way of interim measures while their cases are properly considered.”
Notes to editors
The SRA’s fining powers increased from £2,000 to £25,000 in July 2022. Find out more
About the Law Society
The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.
Press office contact: Naomi Jeffreys | 020 8049 3928